The inauguration of the Khalladi wind farm in Morocco on Friday marks the official launch of the first private renewable project financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the country.
In 2015, the EBRD, the Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur (BMCE) and the Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund (CTF) extended a loan of € 120 million to the project company ACWA Power Khalladi, without state support. The funding went towards the development and construction of the wind farm, which began generating power in December 2017 and is now fully operational.
The Khalladi Wind Farm is one of the first private renewable energy projects in the country developed under a renewable energy law that allows private producers to sell electricity directly to clients connected to the high voltage and medium voltage grid, most of which are industrial companies.
The completed wind farm has 40 wind turbines with a total capacity of 120 MW, will produce around 380 GWh per year to be sold to large industries, and is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 200,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The EBRD loan was extended under the Bank’s US$ 250 million Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Private Renewable Energy Framework (SPREF) which supports the generation of renewable electricity by private sector energy companies in Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and, since June 2018, Lebanon. EBRD loans under the program are complemented by grants to be used towards project preparation and concessional financing from the CTF and Global Environment Facility, to finance part of the investment cost.
Harry Boyd-Carpenter, EBRD's Head of Power and Energy Utilities, said: “We are extremely pleased to have taken part in the financing of the Khalladi wind farm. This is a landmark project in particular because it does not rely on government support but instead is selling power in a competitive environment, demonstrating that clean, renewable power has really come of age. We are very grateful to the support from the Clean Technology Fund and the Global Environment Facility for this project. We are also delighted to partner again with ACWA, who have been at the forefront of driving renewable energy to grid competitiveness across different countries and different technologies.”
Paddy Padmanathan, President & CEO of ACWA Power, said: “To fulfill our mission to deliver renewable energy at the lowest possible cost to the industries and people of the Kingdom and to also add value to social and economic development of the country and the communities within which our power plants are located by maximizing local content and local employment creation and by contributing to community development we need committed financing partners like EBRD who provide not just the funds but who also share our vision. We are also proud that EBRD selected this project for their first participation in the renewable energy sector in the Kingdom.”
The EBRD has been working in Morocco since 2012. To date, the Bank has invested over €1.5 billion in 36 projects across the country, in addition to over €250 million of trade facilitation credit lines with local banks.